OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 30, 2014, 06:36:54 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Just War Theory  (Read 4908 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Sakeneko
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 133



« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2009, 02:06:23 PM »

War is always evil, but sometimes it's a lesser crime.

If it's evil, then it is sin; not "just" but forgiveable.

Of course.  But so are adultery, pride, and the other great sins mentioned in the Holy Scriptures and discussed at length by the Fathers of the Church; sin is forgiveable as long as we are still able to recognize it as sin and God as God, and want and ask for His forgiveness. 

I'm a long time member and supporter of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship (to let people know where I'm coming from), and I do not agree with St. Augustine on his definition and use of the term "just war".  At the same time, even I don't think you can dismiss war as simply another sin.  It's *always* the consequence of a large number of sins, not by one individual, but by at least two nations, ethnic groups, or other definable groups.  It's often the consequence of sins by people other than those who actually fight the war.  And, in many cases, those who fight are at that point simply defending themselves and their families against murderous attacks by others.  There is nothing in the Old Testament whatsoever, and nothing unambiguous in the New Testament, that forbids self-defense.  Not surprisingly, the Church Fathers don't agree on this issue either.  I find it a stretch to apply Christ's instructions to turn the other cheek when the situation is not one of mistreatment, but attempted murder.  We also have St. Paul's statement that the governing authorities are doing God's work, and "do not bear the sword for nothing."  A sword is useless except to *kill* -- it is not a disciplinary tool.  That statement would seem to indicate that God does not object to the government defending innocent people against lawbreakers even to the point of killing.  That function writ large is, unfortunately, war.

On the other hand (and it's a *big* other hand), Christ specifically and unambiguously taught His disciples (and through them, taught us) to love our enemies, and to give up our lives for our fellow human beings, as He gave His up for us and for the world.  St. Paul pointed out, in another part of the Scriptures (Ephesians 6:12), that our enemies are not our fellow human beings, even when they are trying to kill us -- our enemies are Sin and the devil. The weapons He gave us were not earthly weapons, but the spiritual weapons of (2 Timothy 1:7) "love and of a sound mind."  *Those* are the fruits of a life of prayer and of sacrifice of one's own desires for the benefit of others.  There are many ways to become Christlike, as many as there are people.  (God didn't make us using a cookie cutter.)  I have yet to figure out how one could become a person of deep prayer, self-sacrifice, and love for our enemies, and also fight a war for an earthly government.  Apparently some of the saints managed it, but did they manage it because of their involvement in war, or did God use the lessons that they learned from war to take them beyond war?   From reading their stories, I lean toward the second option.

To get back to the original question, I don't believe there ever could be a war fought by humans that qualifies as a "just war", if the word "just" is to retain its meaning.  At the same time, I can think of a number of wars fought against great evils done by other men, wars that as terrible as the consequences were, prevented even worse horrors.  (World War II comes to mind immediately.)  So I think AlexanderOfBergamo probably said it best: war is always evil, but sometimes is a lesser evil.

Lord, have mercy!



« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 02:11:28 PM by Sakeneko » Logged
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2009, 03:39:37 PM »

At this point my question is this: if God doesn't intervene with a miracle, should we condemn 6 billion people to mass martyrdom because we don't want to sin? Because if we are to be continuously attacked by atomic armaments but we have no army and weapons to defend us, that'd be the result of our actions. If you want to say that you are sinning when you save somebody's life from a servant of evil, do it. But in that case, I won't stay there and have my family and friends killed by terrorists or invaders just because war is sinful. Murder is sinful, but helping someone to make a genocide is even a greater sin... you'll be responsible for thousands of deaths when you could just stop this before it's too late. And btw: with evil we can't compromise. There's no diplomacy with Satan's forces, so even a Barack Obama couldn't stop an all-evil terrorist leader from murdering a hundred people at once with a bomb or a kamikaze attack... so those people would have been killed also because of your choice not to intervene, and some of them might even be children. Sometimes God doesn't perform miracles to let his voice be heard. God speaks to our conscience so that we might understand who's evil and how to face it, but sometimes it's only us who can't listen to that voice. Don't wait for miraculous dreams or wonderful signs: God's best miracles are in everyday life when we listen to him and act according to his will, we know it or not. All your ideas fit in an utopic world, but completely fail to be pragmatic in a world which - didn't you know? - is entirely darkened by the "prince of this world". By your continuous innuendo against war you are clearly throwing in hell many thousands of soldiers who are obliged to fire a gun when somebody else's life is endangered.

In Christ,    Alex
Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2009, 06:11:21 PM »

War is always evil, but sometimes it's a lesser crime.

If it's evil, then it is sin; not "just" but forgiveable.

So I think AlexanderOfBergamo probably said it best: war is always evil, but sometimes is a lesser evil.


Actually, Alexander didn't say that; ozgeorge did. Smiley And welcome to the forum. 
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #48 on: October 18, 2009, 06:23:05 PM »

At this point my question is this: if God doesn't intervene with a miracle, should we condemn 6 billion people to mass martyrdom because we don't want to sin? Because if we are to be continuously attacked by atomic armaments but we have no army and weapons to defend us, that'd be the result of our actions. If you want to say that you are sinning when you save somebody's life from a servant of evil, do it. But in that case, I won't stay there and have my family and friends killed by terrorists or invaders just because war is sinful. Murder is sinful, but helping someone to make a genocide is even a greater sin... you'll be responsible for thousands of deaths when you could just stop this before it's too late. And btw: with evil we can't compromise. There's no diplomacy with Satan's forces, so even a Barack Obama couldn't stop an all-evil terrorist leader from murdering a hundred people at once with a bomb or a kamikaze attack... so those people would have been killed also because of your choice not to intervene, and some of them might even be children. Sometimes God doesn't perform miracles to let his voice be heard. God speaks to our conscience so that we might understand who's evil and how to face it, but sometimes it's only us who can't listen to that voice. Don't wait for miraculous dreams or wonderful signs: God's best miracles are in everyday life when we listen to him and act according to his will, we know it or not. All your ideas fit in an utopic world, but completely fail to be pragmatic in a world which - didn't you know? - is entirely darkened by the "prince of this world". By your continuous innuendo against war you are clearly throwing in hell many thousands of soldiers who are obliged to fire a gun when somebody else's life is endangered.

In Christ,    Alex

You seem to have missed my points completely and assumed emotional and irrational positions for me on matters I have not even hinted at. After managing to twist my words well beyond their scope, you haven't actually defended your "God wants us to do it now, because he wanted the Jews/Constantine to do it" position.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 06:45:15 PM by Riddikulus » Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #49 on: October 18, 2009, 06:47:38 PM »

What about a war against slavery?... or an actual slave rebellion like the Spatacists?  How about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising?

Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #50 on: October 18, 2009, 07:03:48 PM »

Actually, Alexander didn't say that; ozgeorge did.
No one listens to you when you're old. Cheesy
Welcome to the forum Sakeneko!
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Sakeneko
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 133



« Reply #51 on: October 18, 2009, 07:18:28 PM »

So I think AlexanderOfBergamo probably said it best: war is always evil, but sometimes is a lesser evil.

Actually, Alexander didn't say that; ozgeorge did. Smiley And welcome to the forum. 

Oops -- I edited that post carefully, but messed up something somewhere when editing out the missing text.  Sorry, Ozgeorge; I didn't intend to steal your credit. :-)

What about a war against slavery?... or an actual slave rebellion like the Spatacists?  How about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising?

Exactly.  It depends on *which* war against slavery, of course.  In general, though, a war whose purpose to put a stop to a great evil like slavery might well be less wrong than the alternative of allowing that great evil to continue without opposition, at least if there's any reasonable hope of winning the war without doing more damage and causing more harm than the evil you're fighting to end.  That's never an easy thing to assess, though, especially not when you're the victims or care about those who are.  Human passions get involved, and bad decisions get made in the name of justice, or even of God.

In the case of the Spartacist revolt or Warsaw Ghetto uprising, if you accept a right to self defense at all, then IMHO the only criticism you could legitimately make against either one is that there was no real hope that the right side would win. :/  In both cases, of course, the victims also had no hope if they didn't fight and knew that.  The devil himself couldn't have set up a more awful situation than these, and probably was ultimately responsible for both of these. :/

I'm most comfortable with Christian pacifism as *my* answer to evil actions directed at me.  If an attacker kills me, I simply go home.  That's no loss to me personally.  It would be a shattering loss to my husband, though, so I can't just think of its affect on me any more.  I've also never thought I'd be willing to let an attacker harm any child without intervening and doing my utmost to stop him, including use of violence if necessary.   To stand by and allow that to happen, in absence of a direct and unambiguous command from God, isn't thinkable, and I see no such command anywhere in the Scripture or the Fathers.

If that shows that I'm not ready for theosis yet, well, it only demonstrates the truth, a truth that's manifestly obvious in other ways as well. <wry grin>
Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #52 on: October 18, 2009, 07:29:55 PM »

Actually, Alexander didn't say that; ozgeorge did.
No one listens to you when you're old. Cheesy

Don't I know it!!!!  Angry  laugh
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #53 on: October 18, 2009, 09:44:39 PM »

To stand by and allow that to happen, in absence of a direct and unambiguous command from God, isn't thinkable, and I see no such command anywhere in the Scripture or the Fathers.

Ok – before this gets too much further out of hand it would appear that I need to clarify some of the points that I have been trying to make (albeit unsuccessfully). Somehow the claims that I have been attempting to get Alexander to address and his misconstrued comments to me have somehow been conflated with the end result a complete distortion of my position.

At no point in this discussion have I suggested that without direct and unambiguous command from God is war or self-defence is a decision that humans may not make; bearing in mind, however, that I contend that such a decision is less that perfect; it is the result of our fallen condition; it is a sin.

In my horribly convoluted way, I have been trying to address a couple of points that Alexander made in defence of his just war theory: the most important one being;

Well, if war is always unjust, dear Gebre Menfes Kidus, you are contradicting both Bible and Tradition, as:
1) You can't explain why God in the OT ordered to the Jews to make war.


Again, I reiterate, at no point have I said that humans mustn’t go to war to defend people against oppression, invasion, etc without direct and unambiguous command from God and my own tangented reply to Alexander probably didn't make that clear. However, I simply don’t believe that such actions can be called “just” in the true sense of the word; it is more an understandable decision of a lesser evil.
 
I repeat: I don't really believe in a just war theory. Justifying war seems to be an attempt at saying it’s something good when it is sinful and wouldn't happen in a perfect world. But we don't live in a perfect world and sometimes we are between a rock and a hard place and we have to choose a path that is sinful, but less sinful than doing nothing.

I don’t believe that this is a clear cut issue, as Alexander's point would suggest, of looking to God’s intervention in other arenas and concluding that because of the way he acted in the OT or in the case of Constantine that he therefore is assumed to be in favour of war as a solution in all other human squabbles. As far as I can tell, that we do go to war and take human life is not ignored as sinless by the Church.

Alexander wrote
just war is when your nation, your family, your friends are endangered by the violence of another attacking nation. If one would try to kill your parents, your brothers and sisters, your children or your best friends, wouldn't you try and defend them? Wouldn't you put your life in danger to stop the violence from outside, even if that would mean to use a weapon? or would you better let them be killed, or enslaved under a dictatorship? The answer is yours, I can't tell you what you have to think, but my answer is that self-defence against violence is legitimate even in Orthodoxy.

I responded that I agree that one would act in such a situation; making the point that the acting would still be sin if it resulted in violence, and the taking of human life. But that wasn't really my point, because I am more interested in the idea that Alexander seems to have that we can justify our actions from the OT/Constantine situations where God seems to have made clear his support of such endeavours for the sake of His People and His Church (Old and New Testament) and then assume it applies to other human conflicts. Again, I make the observation that if God did command the genocide of the enemies of the Jews, or the Roman forces opposing Constantine (and I have no reason to doubt this) this certainly hasn't given us carte blanc permission to go to war against our enemies when Christ commands us to love them. Unless I'm missing something, I can't see how committing violence against our enemies, no matter what the circumstances, equates to love. Again without direct and unambiguous command from God we have to approach war with all humility, realising that we are going to break Christ’s commandment; thus sinning.

As I said, blood on the hands, no matter if it is killing in war, killing in self defence, or accidental manslaughter are all considered sinful acts. St Basil the Great, counselled that someone who killed during a war was excommunicated for a period of three years. Why would this happen if there was no sin involved in the act?

So while I'm not saying that it might not be humanly necessary to react to defend one's people against attack, to take action against an agressor or to fight to end oppression it is still the imperfect action of an imperfect being. When the voice of God is absent, we cannot simply decide that any examples of God intervening or approving of militant action to ensure the survival of His People and His Church (Old and New Testament Israel) by eliminating a: the Cananites in the OT and b: the opposing Roman forces in the fourth Century, is a sign of His approval of violence in each and every human squabble.

I hope this makes my position clear.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 09:56:01 PM by Riddikulus » Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #54 on: October 19, 2009, 07:02:01 AM »

I understand what you mean but I still don't like your position, or better, not at 100%. This is not what I believe. I believe that a war that can preserve many lives can become an instrument to save thousands of lives, and that makes that murder necessary, and thus better then allowing thousands of death. I repeat: if were would be so intrinsically and totally evil, why does the Church have patrons saints for soldiers? Why should evil sinners such as soldiers need a patron established from the Church if they're promoting an evil action? This is a question you should try and answer. I'd like to know your opinions.
Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #55 on: October 19, 2009, 08:01:37 AM »

I understand what you mean but I still don't like your position, or better, not at 100%. This is not what I believe. I believe that a war that can preserve many lives can become an instrument to save thousands of lives, and that makes that murder necessary, and thus better then allowing thousands of death. I repeat: if were would be so intrinsically and totally evil, why does the Church have patrons saints for soldiers? Why should evil sinners such as soldiers need a patron established from the Church if they're promoting an evil action? This is a question you should try and answer. I'd like to know your opinions.

First of all, I would be grateful if you would refrain from putting words into my mouth. At no point have I suggested that anyone who goes to war is intrinsically and totally evil, nor did I say that solders are "evil sinners"; nor have I even said that war is intrinsically and totally evil. Your careless assessments of my posts have already caused confusion. I understand that English isn't your first language and that you are trying to exchange ideas to the best of your ability, but your tactics of stating another poster's positon more vehemently than the poster has done, is offensive. I suggest that you stop jumping to unwarranted conclusions and take more care in how you interpret what is said to you.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #56 on: October 19, 2009, 08:08:21 AM »

I understand what you mean but I still don't like your position, or better, not at 100%. This is not what I believe. I believe that a war that can preserve many lives can become an instrument to save thousands of lives, and that makes that murder necessary, and thus better then allowing thousands of death. I repeat: if were would be so intrinsically and totally evil, why does the Church have patrons saints for soldiers? Why should evil sinners such as soldiers need a patron established from the Church if they're promoting an evil action? This is a question you should try and answer. I'd like to know your opinions.

First of all, I would be grateful if you would refrain from putting words into my mouth. At no point have I suggested that anyone who goes to war is intrinsically and totally evil, nor did I say that solders are "evil sinners"; nor have I even said that war is intrinsically and totally evil. Your careless assessments of my posts have already caused confusion. I understand that English isn't your first language and that you are trying to exchange ideas to the best of your ability, but your tactics of stating another poster's positon more vehemently than the poster has done, is offensive. I suggest that you stop jumping to unwarranted conclusions and take more care in how you interpret what is said to you.

I'm sorry for this. Somebody could call me a Manichean, but I think that all sins are equally evil, so I don't believe in a hierachy of evils. That makes me interpret the definition "war is sinful" as an absolute definition, and this is possibly what creates misunderstandings between us.
Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #57 on: October 19, 2009, 08:11:52 AM »

and that makes that murder necessary,
"Necessary murder"?
I really suggest you don't try that one as a defence before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
"Excuse me Lord, but that murder was necessary and I make no apologies for it."
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #58 on: October 19, 2009, 08:22:23 AM »

I understand what you mean but I still don't like your position, or better, not at 100%. This is not what I believe. I believe that a war that can preserve many lives can become an instrument to save thousands of lives, and that makes that murder necessary, and thus better then allowing thousands of death. I repeat: if were would be so intrinsically and totally evil, why does the Church have patrons saints for soldiers? Why should evil sinners such as soldiers need a patron established from the Church if they're promoting an evil action? This is a question you should try and answer. I'd like to know your opinions.

First of all, I would be grateful if you would refrain from putting words into my mouth. At no point have I suggested that anyone who goes to war is intrinsically and totally evil, nor did I say that solders are "evil sinners"; nor have I even said that war is intrinsically and totally evil. Your careless assessments of my posts have already caused confusion. I understand that English isn't your first language and that you are trying to exchange ideas to the best of your ability, but your tactics of stating another poster's positon more vehemently than the poster has done, is offensive. I suggest that you stop jumping to unwarranted conclusions and take more care in how you interpret what is said to you.

I'm sorry for this. Somebody could call me a Manichean, but I think that all sins are equally evil, so I don't believe in a hierachy of evils. That makes me interpret the definition "war is sinful" as an absolute definition, and this is possibly what creates misunderstandings between us.

Already forgiven.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2009, 08:29:37 AM »

I condemn myself for every action I do which "might" offend him, so don't think I'll use such a ridicle apology. Necessary doesn't mean "good" but "unavoidable". Now, if you want to add in the list of those who would rather be martyred, I'm happy for you, but as for me, I admit martyrdom as a personal religious choice, and not as a political choice. If it were my life to be at risk, I'd accept death rather then killing, but if one touches one of my family, or any other innocent, I'd be ready to defend them. The Church even forgave the lapsi who abandoned their faiths and returned to the church because they were frightened... wouldn't the church forgive one who saved many lives in the army?
Saying that war is wrong, doesn't mean that all wars are unjustified when a superior necessity comes. It's not me who kills people since I'm not in the military and I'll never do, but I still appreciate the work of those who - like the Carabinieri - can have to use a weapon to defend the innocent, be it in war or on another occasion.

In Christ,   Alex
Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #60 on: October 19, 2009, 08:34:57 AM »

Necessary doesn't mean "good" but "unavoidable".
So if something is not good, what is it? A necessary evil? If so, I agree (as I said, war is sometimes the lesser of two evils). But it is still an evil.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2009, 08:49:37 AM »

It is a choice. Just a choice. As evil as it might be at a personal level, a defensive war can ensure the survivor of many lives and the instauration of a new temporary period of peace and prosperity. This is not always the case, but if we hadn't defended ourselves from the Fascists and Nazists at this time Mussolini and Hitler would have conquered and enslaved the world. If you like to call it a "lesser evil", call it like this, but I don't like the expression, and I refrain from adopting it.
Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2009, 09:45:20 AM »

It is a choice. Just a choice. As evil as it might be at a personal level, a defensive war can ensure the survivor of many lives and the instauration of a new temporary period of peace and prosperity. This is not always the case, but if we hadn't defended ourselves from the Fascists and Nazists at this time Mussolini and Hitler would have conquered and enslaved the world. If you like to call it a "lesser evil", call it like this, but I don't like the expression, and I refrain from adopting it.

But you have already stated that it is your opinion that war is always evil, but sometimes it's a lesser crime. Do you, therefore, hold to the view that a defensive war, while still evil and a crime, is somewhat less a crime than an offensive war?   Huh
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #63 on: October 19, 2009, 10:11:53 AM »

An offensive war has no reason to exist, so it is unjustifiable. Who makes such a kind of war is not only sinning, but he is living according to Satan's vision where violence, death and domination are THE FINAL TARGET. In a defensive war, on the contrary, the aim is the preservation of life, and not its destruction. In the first case, war is an instrument to spread death; in the second case, war is an instrument to save people from death. In other words, war is for me a "neutral" aspect in our world. In itself, war is neither good nor evil, but the purpose that leads it decides its nature. Defensive wars are necessary because of offensive wars. Offensive wars are aimed to sufferings, while defensive wars are aimed to stopping offensive wars. Killing - as unpleasant and wrong as it is - becomes a necessary choice. Defensive wars aren't a lesser evil... they're an alternative to a greater evil. It is like seeing a half-full glass of water or a half-empty glass of war: I prefer a vision without such an absolute pessimistic vision of defensive war only because of its final aim and of its positive results in case of success, that's all.

In Christ,   Alex
Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #64 on: October 19, 2009, 01:02:50 PM »

An offensive war has no reason to exist, so it is unjustifiable. Who makes such a kind of war is not only sinning, but he is living according to Satan's vision where violence, death and domination are THE FINAL TARGET. In a defensive war, on the contrary, the aim is the preservation of life, and not its destruction. In the first case, war is an instrument to spread death; in the second case, war is an instrument to save people from death.
I agree right up to this point. I do not, however, believe that war is neutral, or that it is ever good. War is always evil, but sometimes it can be justified, in order that greater evil not prevail upon the earth. War, in which the aim is to kill one's enemy (which requires one to identify one's enemy, and that is another argument entirely), cannot preserve life, but can only diminish death. War still causes death, and therefore is still evil, even when not as evil as the alternative.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,182


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #65 on: October 19, 2009, 01:45:16 PM »

An offensive war has no reason to exist, so it is unjustifiable. Who makes such a kind of war is not only sinning, but he is living according to Satan's vision where violence, death and domination are THE FINAL TARGET. In a defensive war, on the contrary, the aim is the preservation of life, and not its destruction. In the first case, war is an instrument to spread death; in the second case, war is an instrument to save people from death.
I agree right up to this point. I do not, however, believe that war is neutral, or that it is ever good. War is always evil, but sometimes it can be justified, in order that greater evil not prevail upon the earth. War, in which the aim is to kill one's enemy (which requires one to identify one's enemy, and that is another argument entirely), cannot preserve life, but can only diminish death. War still causes death, and therefore is still evil, even when not as evil as the alternative.
Wow. I actually agree with you.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #66 on: October 19, 2009, 01:56:40 PM »

What is the Orthodox position on war in general?


Both views co-exist.

As seen here:





as seen from my website:
"In this path-breaking study, Fr. Alexander Webster convincingly demonstrates that a distinctive pacifist trajectory, characterized by the moral virtues of non-violence, nonresistance, voluntary kenotic suffering, and universal forgiveness, has endured through two millennia of Eastern Orthodox history in unbroken continuity with the ancient Church."





As well as




I'm biased, and so, I'm not gonna cut and paste the review for this one. Grin


Sorry, but I'm a self-professed wannabe pacifist.










ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 02:06:10 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #67 on: October 19, 2009, 02:16:15 PM »

If unconditional peace is an extreme position, then consider me an extremist. With due respect, does Our Lord really want us to "balance" peace with violence?
I'm not sure you can speak for our Lord on this matter, but it's quite obvious that you don't want us to work for such a balance.


As for the Just War theory... well, it just brings us war.
I also have to wonder why you thought it good to resurrect a 4 1/2-year-old thread just to say what you said.  I can think of more substantive reasons to revive such an old discussion as this.

I asked a question; I did not speak for the Lord. He spoke clearly enough for Himself. What we do with His words and how we respond to His example is every man's free choice.
And by so attributing your pacifism to our Lord's words and example and not to your own interpretation of them, you are claiming to speak for our Lord.  Our Lord Jesus Christ preached peace ("Blessed are the peacemakers."), but I'm not sure He preached pacifism.


Yes, you are correct. I do not want to balance peace with violence. I want peace to rule alone.

If I see an opportunity to promote peace, I try to do so. Would yo like to join me my friend?

"When you get down and you quarrel every day, you're saying prayers to the devil I say. Why not help one another along the way, and make things much easier?
                                                      -Bob Marley-

Peace and love to you my brother. You can't fight it!

Selam
You do realize, though, that peace is more than just the absence of war?


A good number of the early fathers, nonfathers, schizmatics and even heretics(depending on how the church views Tertullian) took Jesus at his word, ......a good number of them clearly lived out his teachings.

So Gebre Menfes Kidus wasn't really speaking for Jesus.







ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 02:17:46 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,935


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #68 on: October 19, 2009, 02:19:28 PM »

If unconditional peace is an extreme position, then consider me an extremist. With due respect, does Our Lord really want us to "balance" peace with violence?
I'm not sure you can speak for our Lord on this matter, but it's quite obvious that you don't want us to work for such a balance.


As for the Just War theory... well, it just brings us war.
I also have to wonder why you thought it good to resurrect a 4 1/2-year-old thread just to say what you said.  I can think of more substantive reasons to revive such an old discussion as this.

I asked a question; I did not speak for the Lord. He spoke clearly enough for Himself. What we do with His words and how we respond to His example is every man's free choice.
And by so attributing your pacifism to our Lord's words and example and not to your own interpretation of them, you are claiming to speak for our Lord.  Our Lord Jesus Christ preached peace ("Blessed are the peacemakers."), but I'm not sure He preached pacifism.


Yes, you are correct. I do not want to balance peace with violence. I want peace to rule alone.

If I see an opportunity to promote peace, I try to do so. Would yo like to join me my friend?

"When you get down and you quarrel every day, you're saying prayers to the devil I say. Why not help one another along the way, and make things much easier?
                                                      -Bob Marley-

Peace and love to you my brother. You can't fight it!

Selam
You do realize, though, that peace is more than just the absence of war?


A good number of the early fathers, nonfathers, schizmatics and even heretics(depending on how the church views Tertullian) took Jesus at his word, ......a good number of them clearly lived out his teachings.

So Gebre Menfes Kidus wasn't really speaking for Jesus.
Of course he wasn't.  I just didn't want him presenting himself as if he was. Wink
Logged
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #69 on: October 19, 2009, 02:30:01 PM »

If unconditional peace is an extreme position, then consider me an extremist. With due respect, does Our Lord really want us to "balance" peace with violence?
I'm not sure you can speak for our Lord on this matter, but it's quite obvious that you don't want us to work for such a balance.


As for the Just War theory... well, it just brings us war.
I also have to wonder why you thought it good to resurrect a 4 1/2-year-old thread just to say what you said.  I can think of more substantive reasons to revive such an old discussion as this.

I asked a question; I did not speak for the Lord. He spoke clearly enough for Himself. What we do with His words and how we respond to His example is every man's free choice.
And by so attributing your pacifism to our Lord's words and example and not to your own interpretation of them, you are claiming to speak for our Lord.  Our Lord Jesus Christ preached peace ("Blessed are the peacemakers."), but I'm not sure He preached pacifism.


Yes, you are correct. I do not want to balance peace with violence. I want peace to rule alone.

If I see an opportunity to promote peace, I try to do so. Would yo like to join me my friend?

"When you get down and you quarrel every day, you're saying prayers to the devil I say. Why not help one another along the way, and make things much easier?
                                                      -Bob Marley-

Peace and love to you my brother. You can't fight it!

Selam
You do realize, though, that peace is more than just the absence of war?


A good number of the early fathers, nonfathers, schizmatics and even heretics(depending on how the church views Tertullian) took Jesus at his word, ......a good number of them clearly lived out his teachings.

So Gebre Menfes Kidus wasn't really speaking for Jesus.
Of course he wasn't.  I just didn't want him presenting himself as if he was. Wink

Oh ok, my bad.





ICXC NIKA
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #70 on: October 19, 2009, 02:31:54 PM »

Evidently I'm the only one here who shares st. Augustine's opinion. Maybe because it's pragmatic and, despite all my mysticism, I try to keep an eye on pragmatism when it comes to earthly affairs. If this position isn't Orthodox, I'll pray my God to make me become a pacifist who accepts to be tortured and killed by invaders (as it will possibly happen, seeing the most recent events of terrorism) and to see their children killed. If defending my life and that of my life is a lesser evil, but still an evil, death is the only alternative, and evidently my life and that of my friends has no value enough. Now I will re-evaluate this in the perspective that this life is only a suffering place necessary to obtain life eternal in the world to come, and that my 25 years of life have no true value at all if I'm a sinner who sees war as unavoidable under certain circumstances.

Pray for my soul, because I'm not ready for martyrdom, yet.

In Christ,   Alex
Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #71 on: October 19, 2009, 03:37:17 PM »

and that makes that murder necessary,
"Necessary murder"?
I really suggest you don't try that one as a defence before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
"Excuse me Lord, but that murder was necessary and I make no apologies for it."

quick point: Soldiers who die in War have not been "Murdered"
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #72 on: October 19, 2009, 08:06:10 PM »

Evidently I'm the only one here who shares st. Augustine's opinion. Maybe because it's pragmatic and, despite all my mysticism, I try to keep an eye on pragmatism when it comes to earthly affairs. If this position isn't Orthodox, I'll pray my God to make me become a pacifist who accepts to be tortured and killed by invaders (as it will possibly happen, seeing the most recent events of terrorism) and to see their children killed. If defending my life and that of my life is a lesser evil, but still an evil, death is the only alternative, and evidently my life and that of my friends has no value enough. Now I will re-evaluate this in the perspective that this life is only a suffering place necessary to obtain life eternal in the world to come, and that my 25 years of life have no true value at all if I'm a sinner who sees war as unavoidable under certain circumstances.

Pray for my soul, because I'm not ready for martyrdom, yet.

In Christ,   Alex

I'm don't believe that you are in accord with St Augustine's view of a just war, which doesn't extend to self defence of the private individual. His view is that the private citizen may not defend himself because he cannot do so without passion and a loss of love. Only the state may take the life of another through war OR through defense of others.
“As to killing others to defend one’s own life I do not approve of this, unless one happens to be a soldier or a public functionary acting not for
himself, but in defense of others or of the city in which he resides.”
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #73 on: October 20, 2009, 07:16:42 AM »

This is what I meant,Riddikulus... that in case of war I would become a voluntary in the military to defend my nation and thus my family, my friends, and all of the other citizens. In fact, I could never have a weapon at home, since I'm no military and I think that only soldiers and public order forces (Police, Carabinieri, etc...) can hold them. I just think that who does these jobs should be considered to serve the nation and its citizens, and not as blood thirsty assassins.
Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,467


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #74 on: October 20, 2009, 12:50:43 PM »



While it is certainly difficult to discuss this topic w/o some mention of politics, it is possible to do so by sticking to historical facts and keeping the commentary on those facts to a minimum.  If you wish to discuss the overtly political dimension of the Just War Theory (particularly as it applies to recent history in the Middle East), please do so in the new thread in the Private Politics forum.

If you don't have access to that forum, please PM FrChris.

Thank you.

Schultz, Religious Topics section moderator
Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
Tags: just war war 
Pages: « 1 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.142 seconds with 57 queries.